Global Newsletter #74

Unite To Survive

Friday, March 10, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion

Activists with Debt For Climate occupy the German consulate in Panama.

In this issue: Debt For Climate | Make Them Pay on Valentine’s Day | Stop EACOP |

Dear rebel,

Oil and gas companies have revealed their profits over the last year, and the figures are eye-watering.

The five largest western oil and gas companies made $219 billion in profits, while industry-wide the profits are expected to exceed $400 billion. On this planet, money means power, and at a time when we desperately need to dismantle this industry to stop climate breakdown, its grip over our civilisation has never been stronger.

Big Oil is flexing its new muscle by scaling back climate ambitions and scaling up oil and gas production. BP’s chief executive explained the policy shift in terms of energy security and affordability, concluding that “at the end of the day, we’re responding to what society wants”.

Debt For Climate Tanzania march through Dar es Salaam calling for the Global South to get the same debt cancellation that Germany received after WWII.

But no society wants to be obliterated. And that’s what we face if we keep letting Big Oil have its way (along with $1trillion in government subsidies). Faced with such a gargantuan enemy, we have no choice but to look outwards, and forge links across and beyond our movement. We must unite to survive.

Which is why it’s so heartening that this issue’s Action Highlights covers three major actions where rebels have coordinated not just across continents but as part of a broad alliance of activist groups.

Whether it be rallying outside German embassies with Debt For Climate to wipe out Global South debts, or blocking private jet runways as part of the Make Them Pay campaign, or teaming up with Stop EACOP to raise awareness of the vast oil pipeline being laid across Africa, rebels are building a movement of movements that can put the brakes on Big Oil’s disastrous drive towards destruction.

Rebels in Cape Town, South Africa, protest against Standard Bank’s funding of EACOP.

The oil and gas industry excuses its monstrous profits, its ecocidal expansion, its capture of our media and governments, in the name of ‘affordable energy’. But there is nothing ‘affordable’ about an energy source that will literally cost us the Earth.

We must make our society understand the true price of a future with fossil fuels, and foster a movement of movements so vast that no government can ignore it. At the end of the day, we’re fighting to survive. And that is what society actually wants.

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  • Action Highlights: Debt For Climate, Make Them Pay on Valentine’s Day, Stop EACOP
  • Action Roundup: UK, USA, Colombia, France, Spain, Sweden
  • Book of the Month: How To Stand Up To A Dictator, by Maria Ressa
  • Upcoming Actions: XR UK’s The Big One
  • Announcements: Join Global Support, Pasha Mama, XR Disabled Zine

Action Highlights

Debt Cancellation Is Not Just For Germany

27 FEB | Worldwide

A Debt For Climate rally in Kampala, Uganda.

After World War II, Germany was deeply in debt. But in the interests of long-term peace, half of this debt, worth many billions of dollars, was cancelled by Western governments. Germany’s postwar economy was allowed to stabilise and flourish.

Today, Germany has the 4th largest economy in the world, yet it persistently blocks debt cancellation for the Global South, forcing the region into a spiral of resource extraction to pay interest on loans already paid back many times over.

On the 70th anniversary of Germany’s debt cancellation, Debt For Climate (D4C) launched a global wave of protest that targeted the nation’s finance ministry and its embassies around the world. Activists from dozens of countries and climate groups, including XR, joined the call for Global South debt cancellation and a just transition for the region.

Rallies were held at embassies across Africa & South America, including in (clockwise from top left) Lusaka, Zambia, São Paulo, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Pretoria, South Africa.

In Pretoria, South Africa, rebels from XR Vaal and XR Gauteng handed a letter of D4C demands to a German official outside the embassy, and were later sent a tweet by the Ambassador inviting them to schedule a future meeting.

Meanwhile, in Panama, activists from Ya es Ya managed to catch the German Ambassador for a chat in the consulate elevator.

In Berlin, activists blocked the entrance to the German finance ministry after the finance minister declined an invitation to join the rally outside. While some glued themselves to the ground, others pasted campaign posters to its walls.

D4C actions also took place across Europe, including in (clockwise from top left) Paris, France, Belgrade, Serbia, Berlin, Germany, and Malmö, Sweden.

But Germany wasn’t the only economic powerhouse to be called out for its financial bullying. In Paris, around 40 activists from groups including XR, Attac, and Youth for Climate blocked the French Finance Ministry, and even managed to get inside it.

Their spectacular rally, which involved ‘heist’ costumes, chained activists, fake cash, and giant banners, attracted global media attention. In the end, 5 activists were arrested and held by police overnight.

Love Is In The Air, Private Jets Are On The Ground

13 - 14 FEB | Worldwide

Rebels take part in a blockade of a private jet terminal in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Brieuc Van Elst.

The climate crisis is complex, but some of the ways to solve it are very, very simple. Like banning private jets. A four-hour private jet flight emits as much carbon as the average person does in a year. It’s a no-brainer.

Which is why this Valentine's Day, 200 activists in a dozen countries across three continents declared their love for life on our planet by disrupting private jet companies, conferences, airports, and runways.

Rebels glue themselves to a private jet runway in Milan, Italy.

Actions included blocking private airport entrances with bikes (Schipol, Netherlands) and a boat (Luton, UK), gluing hands to runways (Milan, Italy), occupying airport counters and machinery (Cascais, Portugal), and gate-crashing the stage of a major aviation conference (Brussels, Belgium). Check out all the actions in this impressive video round-up.

The wave of protest was part of the Make Them Pay campaign, a collaboration between XR, Scientist Rebellion and Stay Grounded. Other than banning private jets, the demands of the campaign are to tax frequent flyers, which is a socially progressive way to raise climate funds (80% of the global population have never set foot on a plane), and make polluters pay into climate loss and damage funds.

Blockades at private airfields in (clockwise from top left) Seattle, USA, Christchurch, New Zealand, Melbourne, Australia, and Luton, UK.

Awareness of the nauseating emissions of private jets is increasing, but that didn’t stop 1,040 private jets from flying in and out of Davos during the recent World Economic Forum. The Make Them Pay campaign, which only launched in November, will keep pushing the global elite to give up this unjustifiable luxury.

A campaign spokesperson promised us they’ll be back soon with bigger and bolder actions to target private jets and the injustice of aviation.

Follow The Money to Stop EACOP

22 FEB | Global

Rebels rally at Standard Chartered Bank HQ in London, UK. Photo: Denise Laura Baker

Thousands of activists around the world have taken to the streets to demand a halt to the banking sector’s involvement in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), major oil infrastructure that will do immense social, ecological and climate damage.

A #StopEACOP Global Day of Action, coordinated by, saw non-violent protests launch in 19 cities against the three multinational banks who are financing the pipeline to the tune of billions of dollars.

From Kampala to Paris, from Tokyo to Cape Town, an alliance of activists that included rebels as well as members of Sunrise, Stop Total, and Fridays For Future, rallied outside the offices of the ecocidal banks.

Fridays For Future Nagoya protest outside the Japanese bank funding EACOP.

In Johannesburg, South Africa, protestors brandished banners and placards outside Standard Bank, while in Tokyo, Japan activists congregated in blood-red jumpsuits at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

In London, rebels carried sections of ‘pipeline’ and stop signs to the main doors of Standard Chartered. There were no arrests on the day of action, even in Uganda, where the government has reacted to recent protests with extreme repression.

If completed, EACOP will pump out billions of barrels of oil and an estimated 379 million tonnes of climate-wrecking emissions, making it not just a catastrophe for the neighbouring people and wildlife of Uganda and Tanzania, but a ‘carbon bomb’ that will further accelerate global climate collapse.

University students in Kampala, Uganda join the #StopEACOP Global Day of Action.

The pipeline, which is being driven by French fossil fuel giant TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, violates human rights and environmental protections - and the finance industry’s own Equator Principles (EPs) - by forcibly displacing tens of thousands of people, threatening community leaders and nature defenders, and destroying precious ecosystems.

The pipeline’s route cuts through Uganda’s biodiverse Murchison Falls Park, where it will disturb water sources, wetlands and protected wildlife habitats.

More actions from protestors in Uganda, Tanzania and around the globe, are being planned to stop this Big Oil monster-project in its tracks.

Action Round-up

29 JAN | London, UK: Activists from more than 25 social justice groups – including XR, Just Stop Oil, and Netpol – gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice to highlight the failure of the justice system to protect the rights of both people and planet. Climate activists whose campaigning had cost them their lives or liberty were remembered.

9 FEB | Boston, USA: More than 50 rebels occupy the Massachusetts State House to demand that their governor stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure. After holding the space for 4 hours and attracting a lot of media attention, 14 rebels were arrested.

9 FEB | Bogotá, Colombia: The community of Marsella (which includes rebels) fails to stop the cementing over of a local park rich with biodiversity. They chained themselves to trees and tried sit-ins and hunger strikes, but were ultimately overpowered by large numbers of violent riot police.

10 FEB | Paris, France: Rebels supporting mass civil disobedience in Iran draped the Place de la République statue with a huge Iranian flag and danced in solidarity the day before global demonstrations against the Iranian regime. But the flag, inscribed with the motto of the civil resistance (Woman Life Freedom) was removed by police after just half an hour. Last year, a Ukrainian flag was left there by authorities for weeks.

26 FEB | Oviedo, Spain: Two young rebels run out of the Museum of Fine Arts with a painting in their arms, pursued by alarmed security personnel. Outside, the activists trample the picture, break its glass, stain it with red ink, shouting ‘No art on a dead planet’ and ‘Don't look at us, join us.’ The police are called. The action is a set-up. No painting has been stolen from the museum. ‘We didn't want to do this,’ the rebels said, ‘but we need your attention.’

23 - 26 FEB | Sweden: Activists in 12 cities across Sweden, from Malmö in the south to Luleå in the north, took action to highlight the vital importance of the oceans during the UN negotiations on a global maritime agreement - which ended triumphantly with a historic new UN Oceans Treaty.

So many actions happened this month, we can’t fit them all into one newsletter. Find out about actions in Australia, Gambia, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, DRC & more by reading Newsletter XTRA: A feast for the eyes and extra fuel for the soul!

Read Newsletter XTRA

Book of the Month

How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future, by Maria Ressa

So why are we recommending a book that isn’t about climate change? Because it is about courage, about principle, about strategy, and about justice in the face of injustice and long odds—Nobel-Prize laureate, Maria Ressa isn’t talking about the same problems we are (though of course they are closely linked), but she could be talking about the same solutions.

Ressa was a leading Filipino journalist when the Duterte regime made it very clear she ought to shut up and sit down. She and her team did neither.

This book is, in part, her memoir of how she became the person she is. It is also a clear and accessible exploration of the how and why of the rising tide of fascism that now threatens many countries. And it is a recounting of what she and her colleagues are doing about that tide—a series of steps she hopes more people will adopt.

The title is not “How to Defeat a Dictator.” She doesn’t know yet whether she will. And if she doesn’t, Ressa will spend the rest of her life in prison. But her method has a lot going for it.

Avoid Amazon. Support local bookshops. Buy your books at Bookshop or Hive.

Upcoming Actions

The Big One: Sign Up Now!

21 APRIL | London, UK

XR UK are reaching across and beyond the environmental activist space to bring 100,000 people together around the Houses of Parliament in London on 21st April.

This is The Big One and to do it XR UK have launched a ‘100 Days’ campaign to mobilise support, raise funds, and engage new audiences.

Watch the launch video and tell us you’ll be coming along!


XR Global Support: Roles Available!

Apply Now

Interested in joining the XR Global Support team and working with XR groups around the world?

Our mandate is to help rebels start and grow local XR groups, by offering support with training, resources, tech support, communication, and more.

To best support groups worldwide, we need dozens of new rebels to join the Global team! You simply need access to a computer, a bit of free time, and a strong commitment to climate activism.

Roles are currently available in XR Global Tech, Fundraising, Regional Liaisons, and Reactive teams.

For more info on the responsibilities, skill requirements, and time requirements of each role, check out our new website.

Pacha Mama Open Call!

12 MARCH MONTH | 19:00 - 21:00 UTC | Zoom

We invite you to participate in an International Call for the defence of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth). Expert panellists from organizations in the UK, Europe and Latin America will discuss…

  • What is the Global Social and Climate Crisis?
  • What is the relationship between the neoliberal policies of Western governments and ecocide in Latin America and the Global South?
  • What are the plans for the Big Mobilization scheduled for April 21-24?
  • What is the Westminster TULPA?

The discussion will take place in Spanish, with translation into English.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the link for the Zoom Meeting.

XR Disabled Rebel Network: Help Us Create Zine!

Submissions close 31 MAY 2023

XR Disabled Rebels Network (DRN) is asking disabled rebels from all over the world to submit contributions for a zine (like a small pamphlet) that will raise awareness of the impact of the climate crisis on disabled people.

Email your submissions to

Contributions from D/deaf, disabled, neurodivergent people, as well as those living with chronic illness or long term health conditions are all welcome. Please state in your submission whether you want to be named, use a pseudonym, or remain anonymous.

Contributions can be in a variety of forms, including personal anecdotes/written pieces (word limit 1500 words), poetry, letters, photos, and all kinds of artworks. Submissions must be written in English, and all images must be JPEGs.

The deadline for submissions for the first edition is 31st of May 2023

Thank you

In the profound winter of Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle, determined non-violent protests continue against the logging of Aalistunturi forests (see Global Newsletter #73).

Thank you for reading, rebel. If you have any questions or feedback, we want to hear from you. Get in touch at

The XR Global Newsletter is brought to you by XR Global Support, a worldwide network of rebels who help our movement grow. We need money to continue this crucial work.

Give What You Can

About the Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Our movement is made up of people from all walks of life, contributing in different ways with the time and energy they can spare. Chances are, we have a local branch very close to you, and we would love to hear from you. Get involved …or consider making a donation.